I heard a story from a friend of mine who recently took a murder and mystery tour through downtown Auckland. I did my best to research the story and figure out what was a bit of “shock and awe” added by my friend’s tour guide for the sake of a good story versus what really happened.
Here’s the story….
In April of 2006, the day before Good Friday, a 19-year-old Chinese citizen and English-language student at Auckland University, Wan Biao, was lured to a central Auckland hotel apartment where he was drugged and tied up. The three kidnappers were purportedly friends and fellow English-language students of Wan. The 19-year-old came from a wealthy Chinese family and the three other young men, Wang, Li, and Cui thought they could get a large sum of money for his ransom.
Wan’s parents received the phone call when they were on a train ride through China. They spoke to Wan for a moment but didn’t actually believe it was him, his voice was thick and slurred from the drugs, until he began to beg them in their local dialect to send the $800,000 or he would be killed. Although they were told not to contact the police, the mother and father left the train at the next stop and went directly to the police. I couldn’t find anything that said whether or not they initially agreed to pay the ransom.
Regardless, Wan did not survive the kidnapping.
On Good Friday a couple sailing their yacht out of the Westhaven Marina at 9:40 am saw a large wheeled suitcase bobbing in the water.
They tried to pull the suitcase onto the boat but it was too heavy so they threw a rope around it and kept it bobbing next to the boat. Their suspicions were aroused so they called the police. Here, though it’s a minor point, I have a bit of doubt. Why would you call the police over a heavy suitcase bobbing around in the harbour? Seems strange to me. Anyway…the police showed up, opened the suitcase, and found the body of a young Asian man, with his head partially removed from his body.
In the suitcase they also found several towels monogrammed with the name of a nearby hotel as well as a man’s blazer with a passport in the pocket. The blazer belonged to Cui who admitted to forgetting his passport was in the pocket and stuffing the blazer into the suitcase after it was covered with Wan’s blood.
According to my friend’s story, Wan Biao’s family had a lot of money because they were Chinese mafia and when the three students were extradited to China for their trial they were never seen again after getting off the plane.
Though it makes for an interesting end to a twisted story, it is entirely untrue.
Wang (left), Li (center), and Cui (right) went on trial in New Zealand. Wang was convicted of kidnapping only and sentence to three and a half years in prison and gave the Biao family $25,000 in recompense, as per Chinese culture and tradition. Li and Cui were sentenced to a minimum of 18-1/2 years in prison for kidnapping and murder….a pretty easy sentencing if you ask me. All three were publicly disowned from their families.
I read another article which stated that the coverage of the case and the murder trial put New Zealand in a negative light because the country was trying to make itself a place where international students could come to study and feel safe. But Wan Biao wasn’t killed by a New Zealander, he was killed by fellow Chinese nationals, so I fail to see how New Zealand can be blamed for being unsafe. Those dudes were probably going to end up going psycho on someone sooner or later, whether in China or New Zealand. New Zealand just happened to be the setting for the carrying out of their needless and idiotic kidnapping and murder scheme.
I found it surprising to read that New Zealand was encouraging immigrants back in 2006. With Winston Peters newly elected in October of 2017 as the Minister of Foreign Affairs this is certainly no longer the case. Peters has been cracking down on immigration, especially on immigrant students, and it actually makes me a little worried about getting my resident visa application accepted.
Back in 2006, migration was at about 10,000 per year and now in 2018 it has passed 70,000 per year. More and more people are coming in and less and less Kiwis are leaving. Winston Peters wants only high-skilled laborers to be allowed into the country and this makes me nervous. Based upon the lack of response I am getting with my job applications, I don’t believe I am viewed as a highly-skilled worker.
It’s time for me to begin the visa application process again. It is not fun.
I sent the print job to the printer and then walked into the kitchen to make lunch and I could hear the application printing for what was almost a solid 5 minutes. I haven’t looked at the application yet. It gives me a headache just thinking about all those pages I’ve got to fill out.
I might just do it while accompanied by a bottle of wine.
Hope everyone is having a peachy keen day.